Mmmmm...I have been waiting to showcase this album since I stumbled upon it. This is what I was refering to when I spoke of Dunkelheit by Burzum, having purchased this album shortly after that one, delighted to see a cover from this impressive artist. Utstøtt has been a wonderful and epic addition to my collection. Their prowess and power is monstrous, like that of a great avalanche, cold, swift, and mighty. Járnviðr is the third release from the norsemen that hail from Oregon. They must be born from the Jøtun or Odin for they sing the songs of the north and wield instruments like weapons.
This is a monstrous album from beginning to end. It begins with the soft, calm crunching of snow before delivering a thundering surge into the first track. Laying in the middle, Dunkelheit awaits to offer up homage and heralding in the remaining tracks that await to assault you like a blizzard. Yet the final song, Frykt, is by far my favorite track (and the showcase). The transitions and buildups make me marvel every time as I am dragged along to the very end, listening to the snow underfoot once more, ending as it began. I cannot say enough about this album to do it justice but I hope that this showcase makes the gods smile as the metal takes this week by storm.
Vocally, they remind me of Abigail Williams however the structure and sound are close to Wodensthrone and Gwynbleidd. Regardless, Utstøtt is their own and that makes it all the better. Put on your coat, open the winds, crank up the volume, and let the winter wind cool you as this hot steel sunders the air.
(No lyrics available)
Took some time off to lounge and scrounge like a raccoon over the holiday time off I was able to gain. I survived a double dose of Nurgle's Rot, pondered the great illusion of the weather stations, and drank lots of NOG. I do hope you celebrated the Winter Solstice, pleasing Krampus and Perchta, for if you did not you may be missing childrens or your innards. Regardless, this New Year has arrived and we set our sights on new goals and adventures...and MORE METAL MONDAYS!!!!!
For the first showcase of the year, we have Sear Bliss. This artist is quite new to my arsenal and attention, having released plenty of works before the one I stumbled on (as seems to be my trend with so many artists). Letters From The Edge is peculiar in the way that it captivated me as Ihsahn did when I first listened to him so many years ago. Sear Bliss blasts you with powerful guitar work and blackened vocals however I could not be prepared for the inclusion of a trombone. It works, so very well for this artist as does the saxophone Ihsahn unleashes in his albums. It seems crazy, mad, but it is executed exquisitely. I know, it sounds crazy which is why I had to showcase it, had to add it to my repertoire.
Then we get to A Mirror In The Forest which is the single, solid track that enthralled me with Sear Bliss. It is hugely haunting, dragging me back for more and more due to the song structure and prowess. It is an amazing track and deserves to be featured and feasted upon. So, prepare yourself, take a drink of whatever liquid relaxes you (blood included), and put the earphones to your head. Turn the lights off, press play, and turn the volume on high! START! THIS! YEAR! RIGHT!!!! /,,/
Come and stand in front of me
I want to tell what I've been through
I want you to hear my pain and misery
and cry with me
I want to punch your face
And catch you when you fall
I want to get rid of the thoughts
that hurt inside us all
I want to grab your neck
I want to shout in your face
I want to spit
This life I want to quit
To get rid of the thoughts
To get rid of you
To get rid of me
I'm here to show you all
Don't you dare to hide now
This ride will hurt a lot more than you think
A lifetime of sorrow in me
And an eternally haunting past, immeasurable cruelty
The emerging hopeless rays of daylight
Cut through the freezing cold outside
Recognition of the defeated past
I hate you, I wish you'd be dead
Everything I have lost and I daydream your death
Everything I wanted and everything I had, you stole it
And if you changed even the whole past
You broke me, I see all falling apart
You just let everything happen
And you made me hate myself
My short stories and poems have been less as of late though I still post my usual Metal Monday showcases. I wanted to let you all know that there is no robot or ghost that does these things and that I am still alive. Of course, if I weren't alive anymore then my works would actually be valuable and I would probably be famous...so at least I have that to look forward to.
I have been working on a wild project that started out very absurd and is now evolving into a monster, one that could very well become a full fledged novel or book. For now, I am pouring as much energy into it as I can so my focus for now is on that endeavour. There may be some random new pieces when I get a chance (or if I have some kind of crazed episode) so do check back from time to time. Of course, always make sure you are getting your weekly dose of Metal to keep you wild.
On a side note, there may be some new creations in the coming months that are...different from what I have done thus far. A collaboration with another dark entity may yield much madness in the future!
This was early in my travels into Metalhood yet I allowed it to wait, to ferment and turn into something so much sweeter and full. I speak of Burzum. This was the first album that struck me and has stayed with me since resembling a teacher that waited for me to seek its knowledge, to hear its words, learn its ways. I shall not spoil next weeks surprise however let us say they are connected, and I will further on that next time. For now, we listen to Filosofem and the showcase track Dunkelheit. It is a simple yet surprising powerful song, one that calls to me often and lures me in, the words hefty though few. It is quite masterful, which is not a surprise given the great creations Burzum has produced before and after.
This song is proper given we are heading into the winter months and darkness, with its cold embrace, will be more prominent and powerful. It is these times we grow even though it is a season of death, heralding in the months of rebirth and renewal. I have much more time for reflection as of late and I find winter to be captivating. It quiets the world, challenges all creatures and forces us all to seek shelter and survival. It is during these reclusive times that I lurk around the hearth, cooking and baking to bring warmth to both my home and heart. And, as the song sings, "Suddenly, life has new meaning."
Take time to reflect and rest, cook and comfort, during the cold, dark times ahead. It is not a time for negativity, rather a time to prepare for growth. Survival and strength shall be our motto for this week. /,,/
When night falls
She cloaks the world
In impenetrable darkness
A chill rises
From the soil
And contaminates the air
Life has new meaning
Empyrean Plague... Here is an artist that embodies power. The energy and fire I feel from this album is a rarity, reminding me of Barrowlands and Gwynbleidd in style and prowess. It is haunting, wild, a raging storm. The showcase track, and album named, "Ancestral Embers Shall Burn" is a mighty entity, alongside the other pieces that make up a sundering and strong album. This to the fury grow and swell, resonating with a primordial weight. (The last two minutes is absolutely astounding)
This is what this week needs. As winter draws near and death grips the earth may we gather round the hearth and remember the old ways, the ancient things before us. The great struggle that enables us to move forward, a pact made with blood and sorrow, paid by all in the end, and all who came. Stoke the fires of your soul and renew that fire as this year dies, readying ourselves to emerge next year like the mighty phoenix.
(No lyrics available)
Witches Moon... What a wondrous find! An incredible solo artist with something so unique and unusual to add to my collection of Metal. Dungeon synth is not a known term to me until this recent year and this was one of the sparks. Though Written In Blood is my first showcase, there is already so much contect for me to wade into, to dive into that dark abyss and allow it hold me, sing it's dark songs to me. I have a particularly tough time choosing a featured track since "The Feast" and "Hourglass Covered In Stars" are so astounding (Do listen to beginning of the album for The Feast). I went with quantity since Hourglass is longer and the pace is much quicker yet take a journey, wander into that dungeon of despair and let Witches Moon serenade you.
This week is a slow and seething one so grasp your torch in one hand and spear in the other and be wary as you navigate this cold, looming span of time.
(Not sure why the album art changed however this is the original one provided below)
Hourglass Covered In Stars
The time has come
This is it
All you've adored
Has gone to Hell
Feel your bones
Chilled and brittle
I created myself
A bit more subtle
Now there is time
An hourglass; covered in stars
These chosen harolds
One eye open at all times
There within strength lies
Waiting in slumber
You are silent
I am a mirror
I find myself deep in thought this evening, curiously focused on the hidden mechanics of the world. Of the energies and the ways they manifest. Do we will it because we want it so or does a thing exist strictly beyond ourselves, an imprint of old energies or misguided powers? All these thoughts that drive me mad with restless contemplativeness, unrelenting until I break the spell I find myself under. Why do I drive myself to decipher such ridiculous things? The animal in me needs only eat and sleep to feel satiated however the insatiable civilized portion of myself is a void in comparison. It hungers only for more, no amount of knowledge is enough, no matter how distracting or irrelevant...or worse, detrimental. I have been moving towards breaking myself of it’s needs and habits, always wanting me to pursue things that will lead me astray or waste my energy, and I am so very tired. I seek simplicity, solace, solitude yet this burdensome beast that lurks within arises and leaves me with little rest. It is laced within my very being and we shall not be loosed from one another until our energies are untethered from this vessel. I know not whether it has been with me since the beginning or if it found a way during my journey to attach itself to me, seep inside, draining me like a parasite. I cannot reason with it and being aware of it only makes it stronger and more agitated. Perhaps it is simply depression...but perhaps not. I know not what to call it and care little for it’s games. It fills my head with these incessant thoughts, wretched dreams, and too many distractions.
I am learning to be more aware of illusions, whether spawned from my own mind or from another’s, I no longer have interest in all things. It is too vast and timeless for my mortal form so I must choose the things most dear to me such as my happiness and my own progress. I can no longer offer my best to all things especially considering the weight of my own worth in the eyes of myself and what the world seems sufficient to return. My candle may able to light others yet if I burn brighter and hotter than the others then I shall burn out. All of our candles are different though...perhaps I am meant to burn that way? This is exactly the kind of crazed thinking I was mentioning...trying to avoid the trap I fell within it. I lose sleep and rest because of this beast that tempts me, makes me question and doubt. It’s madness and all I can do is shake my head. And now I’m tired from this ordeal so I will sleep, the void within pleased for the moment allowing me a brief respite before the next episode.
Now there is an album title I can relate to...Eternal Crypt brings forth a powerful combination of Melodic Black Metal, Power Metal, and Folk elements as well. I would often overlook some of the things featured within however somehow this artist binds it together in a way that is quite enchanting, haunting yet sometimes epic. The showcased track for this week is the album titled track as well, Loneliness Of The Wolf, but do not shy away from the rest of the album. Take a journey with these blackened wood wraiths and let them regale you with dark tales and sorrowful melodies.
This week I have much to look forward to however I find myself much like the cover art, staring into the distant darkness, a solitary wolf belonging to a scattered yet strong pack. I will push on, with tracks like these to drive away the feeling until I can roam with those I call my own. Steel yourselves this week, folks. Be wary of illusions and devils alike.
(No lyrics available)
Appalachian Winter... This is an artist that straight up embodies Metal. Though this is the first album I have collected from them, I can tell from the entirety of the project that it is not simply "black metal" nor is it a single genre in any style. Symphonic? Yes. Black Metal? Yes. Power Metal? Yes. Epic Metal!? Yes! HATRED? CHECK! (Dethklok reference). This whole journey this album provides is astounding, bountiful, and amazing. It will almost wear you out if you try to listen to the whole thing in one setting. This is a creation that a lot of energy has been poured into and one can hear it within each track.
From The Cosmos To The Mountains is a saga of Metal that will take you from the deep black to the sunspired edges of the land. It was hard to showcase one track alone however I have selected Essence Condensing From Fury not for the name alone but that it is a mighty track on its own. And like this showcase selection, let us not forget that it takes each part of this album to work, just as you and I may not know the album we belong to yet we play our own tunes. Go into this week knowing that not all will listen to your song however there will always be fans and followers even if unbeknownst to you. / ,,/
Essence Condensing From Fury
Fire - creating, molding, shaping,
Cosmos - descendant, ascendant, transcendent,
From one the other explodes.
Firehewn is all - the heavens above; the Earth below.
Condensation forms as cosmos from fire;
Ashes of creation to forever re-enflame.
Firehewn is all - the essence of this world
And all others.
Firehewn is all - the essence of our heavens;
The essence of time itself.
From fury is come that which has built the heavens and this earth.
This Metal Monday is brought to you by my kindred soul Jarak. Due to some random encounter, Jarak and I send one another albums on occasion, fueling each others musical journey with few words between. This album was sent to me during the last exchange. This was a delicious treat waiting on my wishlist that I had forgotten about.
Tvær, though hailing from the States, the cold, northen Minnesota, the sound they create is one that resonates with the Finnish style of Black Metal. This four track howling madness is a wild ride through frigid, dark landscapes. A cold embrace that sears and savages. I am always a fan of ancient and old things, gods included. Coupled with atmoshperic and melodic blackness, this album is a force unleashed.
As the first snowfall settles here in the plains, let us look into those gray clouds that spit ice and wonder of the old ways. May your soul weather the chill that looms as we go into this week with the old ones by our side.
Playing the bonus track included with the album. No lyrics provided.
THE MAD BARRON
"It takes a certain kind of madness to trek alone into the wilds however I find it far safer and less stressful compared to the trappings of cities and men."
The Source Of The Metal